Linked by Jordan Spencer Cunningham on Mon 11th Jan 2010 15:57 UTC
Original OSNews Interviews A few weeks ago, we asked for the OSNews community to help with some questions we were going to ask Aaron Griffin from the Arch Linux team, and the response was glorious and somewhat phenomenal. We added those questions to our own and sent them on over, and then we were surprised by receiving not only Aaron Griffin's responses but answers from various individuals from the team.
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RE[6]: Ugh
by nt_jerkface on Wed 13th Jan 2010 01:04 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Ugh"
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Err, Linux IS modular in design and can be modified for a variety of purposes while maintaining binary compatibility.

That's why I said OS, as in a full operating system, not a kernel. The problem is that there isn't binary compatibility across distros that use the Linux kernel.

So yes, Linux binaries won't work indefinitly - but then neither will Windows binaries.

No one expects Windows binaries to work indefinitely. However you can expect them to work for the life of the operating system. Both Windows and OSX see the value in offering developers a stable platform. With Linux you can't even expect them to work between minor updates.

It makes no difference whether the source is open or not.

I was talking about user software. The software distribution systems are all designed around open source. You run into massive headaches when you work outside that system. Not just through distribution but because the distro clusterfu*ck is dealt with by releasing the source and having the package managers downstream account for the differences.

You do realise that there's plenty of large closed source apps available for Linux? VirtualBox (not the OSE but the more feature-rich edition) is closed AND has a GUI. And given the complexity of virtualisation, I'd hardly define that as a small command line program.

There are closed source apps available for Linux but the companies that produce them still have to account for all the differences. Companies that release a single tar file are hiding all the "poke in the dark" scripts that have to be built to deal with all the distros. Even if you release for a couple distros you still end up building multiple binaries.

Opera's Linux section shows what supporting multiple distros really looks like. Note that some distros have multiple packages for differing versions.

As for VirtualBox it is open source while VMWare is closed source. VMWare has in fact been broken multiple times by updates.

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